Gov't in Ebola talks with PAHO
The health ministry has moved to outline steps being taken to ensure that doctors are equipped to deal with Ebola, amid concern that Jamaica does not have the required protective gear.
A release from the ministry today says Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr Kevin Harvey has been discussing partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the event the virus reaches Jamaica and the region.
According to the health ministry, PAHO has confirmed support for the provision of personal protection equipment from its warehouse in Panama.
It says if the need arises in Jamaica, items can be made available within 24 hours of notification of a case.
Harvey also indicated that there are ongoing talks with the United States Government for the provision of additional personal protection equipment.
He noted that although there is stock in Jamaica, procurement has been fast-tracked to acquire more.
In the meantime, Harvey has held discussions with PAHO in relation to the review of protocols for the collection of blood samples and their transportation to the United States-based Centers for Disease Control or the Canadian Public Health Agency.
PAHO has provided guidelines on the collection, storage and transportation of the sample including guidelines for the deactivation of the virus to ensure safety for any lab staff handling it.
PAHO has also discussed helping with the provision of protocols and a discussion on surveillance and detection strengthening at points of entry and for Accident and Emergency Departments which are the areas a potential case will most likely present.
In addition, there have been talks on the availability of isolation facilities, equipment and supplies and the state of readiness of Jamaica’s isolation facility as well as fast tracking the procurement of any item required for those facilities.
Meanwhile, there is to be a review of the clinical management of cases, medical waste generated from a case and appropriate mechanisms for the disposal of dead bodies.
The discussions are taking place in Washington, D.C. where Harvey is attending the PAHO Directing Council meeting.
The meeting ends tomorrow.
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